49ers release statement regarding Levi’s Stadium management

Nov 15, 2016 at 9:58 PM--


In late October, Lisa Gillmor, the mayor of Santa Clara, threatened to seize control of Levi's Stadium if the San Francisco 49ers failed to provide documents detailing how they spent taxpayer dollars.

Stand Up for Santa Clara, a volunteer-run organization working to protect the democratic process in Santa Clara and prevent the 49ers and special interest groups from taking over our community, has accused the team of failing to provide all of the required documents to the city. The group is urging the city to declare that the 49ers have breached their lease agreement.

Tonight, the team issued a statement via Bob Lange, the team's Vice President of Communications, regarding the accusations.

"The San Francisco 49ers organization has been subject to a campaign of misinformation and headline-grabbing accusations, most recently in regard to the management of Levi's Stadium. Contrary to these rumors and reports, the 49ers have not breached any agreements with the City. Rather, Levi's Stadium, under 49ers management, has proven to be a tremendous economic and cultural asset not only to the City but also the entire region, while returning millions of dollars of revenue to Santa Clara.

"Until recently, we have remained largely silent, hoping our performance would speak for itself. The Mayor fails to recognize that her unfounded accusations are harmful to her city and constituents. It is they who stand to lose revenues if promoters and event planners believe there is instability in the management of Levi's Stadium.

"Contrary to the Mayor's recent statements to the press, she has no right to terminate the 49ers as manager of Levi's Stadium. Her unjustified threat to remove the 49ers has unnecessarily created a fear of job loss in the many employees who have worked so hard on behalf of the Stadium Authority to make Levi's Stadium so successful in such a short time. The 49ers will continue to manage Levi's Stadium in the world-class manner that has already garnered the venue and The City of Santa Clara international recognition.

"The 49ers have cooperated fully with the Mayor's financial consultants. We have responded to all questions asked and have either provided copies of the requested documents, or, where confidentiality is a concern, we invited the consultants to review the requested information in our offices.

"The same information has been shared with the City and its staff and auditors many times before. The City of Santa Clara's own Agenda Report for its November 15, 2016, Council Meeting notes that over the course of many days and many hours, City staff and representatives from Keyser Marston Associates reviewed a" stadium revenues and expenditures since the first non-NFL event on August 2, 2014. Furthermore, the Stadium Authority employed the internationally renowned and respected certified public accounting firm KPMG to audit stadium financials on four occasions — twice during construction and twice since the commencement of operations. Each of KPMG's four independent audits resulted in clean audit opinions."

Two days after the original accusation, the 49ers issued the following statement to NFL site Pro Football Talk.

"The Mayor's accusations that money is going from the City's General Fund into the stadium are false and irresponsible. As the Mayor surely knows, since she voted for the agreements, the stadium does not use General Fund money. In fact, funds are flowing into the General Fund from the stadium. The 49ers Stadium Management Company has generated over $5.5 million for the City's General Fund over the last two years, plus an additional $2 million in fees to the City. On top of that, another $2 million has also gone to the Discretionary Fund.

"The successful management of Levi's Stadium by the 49ers Stadium Management Company has allowed the Santa Clara Stadium Authority to reduce its outstanding debt by over $200 million since opening, and fund over $16 million in cash reserves. Those figures do not even include the significant increase in sales and hotel tax revenues generated by the stadium, hotels and other local businesses that will contribute to the Santa Clara General Fund on an annual basis as a direct result of the ongoing operation of Levi's Stadium."

"I know for a fact that you can't run the stadium because you don't even have baby changing stations here," said one stadium employee while addressing city officials in Santa Clara tonight. The employees of the stadium management company gathered to refute the claims by Gillmor.

"The City has had access to all the documents since before this audit even began," one team representative said. "It is the City Council's problem if they don't communicate with their own staff."








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